Baby Names Inspired By Our Favourite Literary Heroes

Heading to the bookshelves for baby name inspiration

Baby names inspired by heroes of literature
Baby names inspired by heroes of literature

We've gotten baby name inspiration from movies, from TV shows, from Game of Thrones — from everywhere. But what about books? Guys, you remember books: they're wonderful and great. I mean, I know you remember books because bookstores are the best kind of stores, and we all watched You've Got Mail and know that without bookstores, we wouldn't know how important learning to spell "fox" is. (And if you don't get that reference, well I'm sorry, but I can't help you.)

So to celebrate the world of literature, here are 10 baby names based on literary heroes, past and present. I'll try my best not to just list the entire cast of Pride and Prejudice.

1. Elizabeth

Well speaking of Pride and Prejudice... are we really not going to mention one of the strongest female literary heroes of all time? (Of course we are! Let's mention her! Now!) In this Jane Austen masterpiece, Lizzie Bennett had the audacity to refuse marriage for the sake of marriage — she refused to be pawned off for property. Instead, she sought love or nothing (which was beyond rebellious in the 19th century), and in the end, she came out on top. Elizabeth forever, you guys.

2. Matilda

Matilda deserves more credit than we give her. In the Roald Dahl book, the child prodigy not only solves the disappearance of her teacher's father, she learns to survive on her own — through books — because her family doesn't respect, appreciate, or even like her. For anyone who grew up clinging to books, she was a true hero. And for anyone who appreciated strong literary characters, she still is. 

3. Anne

I promise I'm not including Anne of Green Gables' Anne Shirley because I love my name so much. (But I do, and for the record: it's "Anne" with an "e," forever.) However, Lucy Maud Montgomery's series about a brazen young woman who pined for higher education and a higher place in the world is an inspiring tale not just to kids who saw the '80s TV movie, but to anyone who has wanted to break a slate over somebody's head. Runner up: Diana Barry. But only if you hide the raspberry cordial.

4. Charlotte

If not for Charlotte in E.B White's Charlotte's Web, Wilbur the pig would've been killed. And while we all know it was Charlotte the Spider's magical spinning that ensured the wee pig's survival, Charlotte refused to draw attention to herself, and instead let her life path run its course before setting her offspring on their own journey. Salutations.

5. Hermione

If we don't cite Hermione Granger from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series as a literary hero, we've obviously failed both the author and the franchise as a whole. Hermione was the brains behind everything. Without her, Harry would never have defeated Voldemort, and arguably, Harry himself wasn't as brave as his brilliant BFF. Fighter for elf rights, holder of time turners, Hermione is the character we should all aspire to be.

6. Atticus

Atticus Finch — of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird — is noble, smart, driven and above almost every citizen of the town he lives in. Refusing to buy into racial prejudice, he fights to keep Boo Radley from being executed after being wrongfully convicted of murder. The story is heartbreaking, but Atticus is almost untouchable. (Like, in life.)

7. Dorian

Obviously, upon naming one's son Dorian, you don't want him to be like the subject of Oscar Wilde's protagonist — a boy obsessed with his own youth and beauty (who eventually sees quite an end because of it). But the name itself is iconic, and if you're a fan of gothic literature, The Picture of Dorian Gray ranks above all other stories written about the perils of selling one's soul.

8. Rhett

Rhett Butler, as perfectly articulated by Scarlett O'Hara, is a scoundrel. But Gone With the Wind would be nothing without him. Scarlett and Rhett's love story is one of the most referenced in literary (and movie) history... but if you'd like to dial it back from the Civil War and pay homage to the man who played him, you might want to try "Clark".

9. Jay

How into the 1920s are you willing to get? In this case, Jay Gatsby — from F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby — is the ultimate tribute to both the flapper era and a book that defined it. Although, yes: Jay suffers a tragic fate. So if you're a little worried that the name is too bleak, remember his full name is "James".

10. Sherlock

There's a reason the BBC series is so popular, and that North America has their own interpretation, too. "Sherlock" — both the name and the character — is iconic, important, and clearly timeless. That, and you might be setting your son (or daughter) on a path toward unparalleled detective work.

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